Get Cultured — May 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Quoth the Raven, Nevermore



Although it may at first take you back to your high school years when you likely first read it, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, presented by Gotham Chamber Opera, gets a haunting makeover as part of the NY Phil Biennial. Showing for three days only, at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, the presentation combines a spoken word/opera rendition reading of The Raven and unforgettable music by Toshio Hosokawa.

the-raven                            the-raven

The scene begins with André Caplet’s “Conte fantastique: Le Masque de la Mort rouge,” a beautiful piece based on Poe’s The Mask of the Red Death, showcasing outstanding musicians on the harp, viola and violins. After this brief introduction into the world of Poe, the audience is then privy to the main event. Directed and choreographed by Luca Veggetti, the show stars Fredrika Brillembourg as the narrator and Alessandra Ferri, former prima ballerina assoluta, whose movements and dance represent the menacing raven. Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Goren leads the twelve-piece orchestra masterfully, and states, “Poe’s unsettling text interacts with Hosokowa’s diaphanous, iridescent colors to create an unforgettable evening of haunting, intense beauty.” Goren’s words couldn’t be more true — the music was surely the highlight of the evening. Hosakawa’s The Raven led audience members through the various emotions reflected throughout the poem, all while Brillembourg’s splendid mezzo-soprano voice rang through the theater.


Clifton Taylor, the scenic and lighting designer also gave The Raven his all, lending his expertise to the stage, manipulating the light to be as eery as the poem. Equally impressive was Brillembourg’s ability to both sing and perform alongside Ferri simultaneously, sometimes even supporting the precariously placed weight of the dancer herself. While the performance was both dramatic and engaging, the real take away was the exquisite musical talent and composition accompanying it.

The Raven is playing through May 31st, with tickets available for purchase here.

*Images via Richard Termine

Twisted Talk: Have you ever read The Raven? Would you enjoy seeing the show? Discuss below!

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

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